Iran supports 'dialogue' to resolve the political crisis in Iraq: Foreign Ministry spox

Supporters of the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr continue their protest for the third day inside the Iraqi parliament. They are demanding an end to endemic corruption in the country and holding early elections. 
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Supporters of the Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr celebrate after bringing down concrete barriers leading to the capital Baghdad's Green Zone, July 30, 2022. (Photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP)
Supporters of the Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr celebrate after bringing down concrete barriers leading to the capital Baghdad's Green Zone, July 30, 2022. (Photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Tehran supports dialogue between Iraq's political parties to overcome the crisis destabilizing the country, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Monday. 

"Dialogue is the best way to settle the problems," Nasser Kanani, the spokesperson for Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in his weekly press briefing in Tehran, IRNA state media reported.

Supporters of the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr continue their protest for the third day inside the Iraqi parliament. They are demanding an end to endemic corruption in the country and holding early elections. 

The protests initially broke out in response to the nomination of Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani for the Iraqi prime minister by the Shiite Coordination Framework (SCF). The SCF is a staunch opponent of the Sadrists, which struggled in vain for months to form a government before resigning from the Council of Representatives in mid-June. 

The SCF announced on Sunday that it would hold counter-protests in Baghdad on Monday afternoon in response to the Sadrists sit-in in parliament, which they call a "coup".

Despite repeated calls from the political parties to deescalate the situation and resolve the outstanding issues amicably, Sadr called on his supporters to hold protests across all Iraqi provinces, aside from the Shiite shrine city of Najaf in the south. 

Hadi Al-Amiri, who leads one of the main parties in the Framework, called for dialogue with the Sadrists on Monday. 

In response, the Sadrists issued three conditions that must be met before beginning any negotiations. These are the withdrawal of Amiri from the SCF, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki publicly renouncing the remarks he made in the leaked audio tapes, and guarantees the SCF stick to their reform pledges. 

A number of controversial audio tapes purportedly of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki making incendiary pronouncements about his rivals were recently published by US-based Iraqi journalist Ali Fadhel. Maliki denies the recordings are of him. 

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani has invited the Iraqi political parties to hold negotiations in the capital Erbil.

In a statement on Monday, the defense ministry said that Iraqi forces are not part of the political conflict and will continue to protect citizens and protesters. 

Iraq still has been unable to form a new government, almost ten months after the Oct. 10, 2021, elections, mainly due to the political impasse between the Sadrists and the SCF.